Sleep Apnea Service

About Us

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) affects 2-4% of adults aged between 30 and 60 in Hong Kong. The Respiratory Medicine Centre provides one-stop service in diagnosis and management of patients with OSAS through a multi-disciplinary approach. The Centre also provides public education programmes to promote awareness of OSAS.

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
OSAS is due to repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep, leading to arterial oxygen desaturation and frequent awakenings. Individuals suffering from OSAS would have fragmented sleep and poor sleep quality. They also have excessive daytime sleepiness, impaired intellectual performance and more fatigue-related vehicle accidents. Those suffering from OSAS would have an increased risk of having hypertension, insulin resistance, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

Main Symptoms
If you have the following symptoms, you may be suffering from OSAS:
  • Constant snoring
  • Apnea (stopping of breathing) during sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness (irresoeetive of length of sleep)
  • About 70% of hypertensive patients suffer from OSAS

Risk Factors
The following factors put an individual at a higher risk of having OSAS. The risk also increases proportionately with age.
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Severe nasal allergy
  • Small jaw
  • Big tonsils in children
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Chronic cardio-pulmonary diseases

Our Services

Diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Individuals suspected of having OSAS can consult a sleep apnea specialist at our Centre for clinical assessment.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, polysomnography (multi-channels overnight sleep study) has to be performed. Polysomnography is a painless and non-invasive procedure to record the sleep pattern, heart rate, breathing pattern, muscle activities, snoring and blood oxygen level during sleep. The procedure is conducted in our Sleep Laboratory.

In difficult and complicated cases, such as failure after previous sleep surgery, sleep endoscopy will be carried out under sedation to assess the level of the narrowed segment in the upper airway using a flexible endoscope.

Therapeutic Options
A suitable treatment regimen will be formulated by our experienced specialists in Sleep Apnea for individual patients. Therapeutic options include:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices: To splint the upper airway with air pressure in order to prevent its collapse during sleep.

Oral appliances: To move the lower jaw forward with a custom made dental device, thereby enlarging the upper respiratory tract.

Surgery (mostly for children): To resect or reposition throat structures obstructing the upper airway so as to restore normal flow of air in and out of the lungs.

Modification of lifestyles such as weight control.

Follow-up assessment will be provided at our Centre after treatment to evaluate the patient’s condition to determine whether further support is necessary.

Paediatric Sleep Apnea
Snoring is common in children. Researchers found 10-12% of normal children snore regularly. Most children who snore are otherwise healthy. About 1.5% of children with persistent snoring suffers from Sleep Apnea. If your child snores regularly, he/she may suffer from Sleep Apnea. You should seek the advice of a sleep specialist.

Childhood Sleep Apnea is a chronic illness. Early in the disease, the child snores regularly during the night. He or she may look completely normal during the day. Childhood Sleep Apnea is different from adult Sleep Apnea. In particular, children with Sleep Apnea often do not have daytime sleepiness.

Children with Sleep Apnea suffer from poor sleep quality and intermittent low blood oxygen level during sleep. In more serious cases, they may suffer from problems at school, behavioural problems, delayed growth, or even heart failure. Some of these symptoms are similar to those described in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In fact, some children with Sleep Apnea are misdiagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How do we diagnose Sleep Apnea in children?
Overnight sleep test is the most reliable way to diagnose Sleep Apnea in children. Sleep test can be done in children of all ages. Your child needs to stay in the hospital for a night. Before bedtime, sleep test technician will put on several measuring wires and belts on your child. These will record brain wave, breathing, heart rhythm, blood oxygen level, etc. The process of sleep test is not painful and will not pose any danger to your child. The sleep test data will be carefully interpreted by specialist, to determine whether your child suffers from Sleep Apnea, and to determine the severity of the Sleep Apnea.

Contact Us
For enquiries and appointments, please contact us at:
Sleep Apnea Service
Address:10/F, Li Shu Pui Block
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
2 Village Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: 2835 8673
Fax:2892 7430